I went to the Tate the other day with Lloyd Davis from Perfect Path. Mainly because I wanted to clear my head and I've been a wee bit obsessed with that painting by Millais of Ophelia. On the one hand it looks slightly fantastic and contrived but in real life it does have some of that Shakespearean drama licence of I'm drowning but I wont choke while I do it. Its beautiful anway and the attention to detail is such that all the tiny flowers are individually identifiable.
It also reminds me strongly of the video by Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue. Take a look around a minute and a half if ADD is getting to you. Neat huh!
Millais was kind of like the Damien Hirst of his day too. Totally up for squeezing every buck he could from portrait sittings, he was in much demand and there are a shed load of these which bored us a bit because he did so many. But then there are the Fancies including the Pears Soap Bubble painting that caused such a stir for selling out at the time and maybe he was, but tucked in this collection are some real gems not least of which is Ophelia which I still can't quite shake out of my head. Millais came from Southampton too, which is my home town so maybe there was a bit of that sitting in my head and willing me on to make the visit. I also lived on Millais road not far from The Kaiser although we didn't know each other at that time as youngsters. Also we had a gallery called Millais at Solent University where I studied for my degree even though that was pretty much a cover for not wanting to work for a few years after my girlfriend of that time tried to take her life. Much like Ophelia I guess.